South Africa court rules anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism, Hamas salutes
Though a Zionist organization tried to accuse an official of making anti-Semitic remarks, the Constitutional Court of South Africa disagrees, and rules that anti-Zionism is simply not anti-Semitism.
The Head of the Hamas International Relations Office, Moussa Abu Marzouk, welcomed the South African court ruling that "Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism."
Abu Marzouk said in the statement: "We welcome the historic decision of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, which affirms that anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism, and that criticism of Zionism is not a criticism of Jews."
He added that the decision "constitutes legal support and political support for opponents of the Zionist occupation of our occupied Palestinian lands after the occupation spent decades blackmailing countries and forces rejecting it, linking any criticism of it to anti-Semitism."
Abu Marzouk explained that "the judicial decision in South Africa represents a strong momentum and incentive for the rest of the judicial authorities around the world to issue legal rulings and take similar judicial steps."
"These decisions would tighten the screws on the Zionist occupation, which seeks to prevent the Palestinian people from exercising their right to self-determination, liberation, and return," as decided by international laws and United Nations reports, he highlighted.
He also stressed that "the occupation continues to violate international law, the Geneva Conventions, and the charters of the United Nations, and it continues to practice intimidation against countries that reject its continued presence on Palestinian territories."
A lost court case
The Constitutional Court of South Africa made the ruling based on a case brought by the South African Human Rights Commission on the behalf of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (an organization that has close ties with "Israel"), against comments made in 2009 by former Secretary of International Relations of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, Bongani Masuku.
Out of the four comments studied in court which were allegedly "anti-Semitic," only one met the criteria to be considered "hate speech." Therefore, Masuku was found not guilty.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign revealed that the statements the court ruled did not constitute hate speech or anti-Semitism: "COSATU has got members here even on this campus. We can make sure that for that side it will be hell," referring to COSATU's intentions were regarding those who support "Israel."
Palestine Solidarity Campaign on yesterday's Constitutional Court Judgement. Anti-zionism is not anti-Semitism pic.twitter.com/mqazb64gdV— na'eem jeenah (@NaeemJeenah) February 17, 2022
The second statement is, "The following things are going to apply: any South African family, I want to repeat it so that it is clear for everyone, any South African family who sends its son or daughter to be part of the 'Israel' Defense Force must not blame us when something happens to them with immediate effect."
The third statement is, "COSATU is with you, we will do everything to make sure that whether it's at Wits, whether it's at Orange Grove, anyone who does not support equality and dignity, who does not support the rights of other people must face the consequences even if it means that we will do something that may necessarily cause what is regarded as harm."
"They are not the same thing," said the Constitutional Court, pointing at the differences between Judaism and Zionism. The statements, as found, were "clearly aimed at 'Israel' and those who support 'Israel'," and not at Jewish people.